Is there enough romance in your relationship?

July 16,2019

Would you describe your relationship as romantic?

If it feels like a bomb just went off in your gut, don’t panic. The vast majority of couples would say that their long-term relationship isn’t particularly romantic.

This month I’m sharing 13 specific, research-backed things that sexually satisfied couples do that unsatisfied ones don’t, plus suggestions for how you can incorporate each tip into your relationship. (Missed last week’s batch of tips? You can find them here!)

I’ve divided the 13 tips into categories, and our theme this week is romance. (Cue the Sade and draw the bubble bath!)

Sexual Satisfaction Secret #4: Say “I love you” every day and mean it

I will admit, when I first read this tip, I rolled my eyes a little. Saying “I love you”? Come on… couldn’t we get a little more creative than that?

But then I really read that second part… “and mean it.” 

So often when we say, “I love you”, it’s a bit of a throwaway. It’s like a reflex. It doesn’t have a ton of meaning behind it. 

Xander and I make sure to say “I love you” every night before bed, but I’m usually half asleep as he fumbles over to my side of our king-sized bed in the dark, trying to give me a good night peck. My “I love you” in that moment is basically the equivalent of, “OK, OK let me go to sleep now.”

You probably have those same kinds of moments in your relationship too. 

So take the time to say “I love you” with some actual emotion behind it! Here are some ways you can do that:

Sexual Satisfaction Secret #5: Give surprise romantic gifts

I know it’s tempting to see this tip as being materialistic or shallow, but it’s not about buying an expensive gift. It’s truly the thought that counts. 

A small gift lets your partner know you were thinking about them and wanted to do something special for them. 

Here are some romantic gifts you can give to your partner:

I absolutely love when Xander brings me flowers. I know it seems simple or even cheesy, but every time I look at a bouquet that he’s bought for me, it makes me feel so appreciated. 

Sexual Satisfaction Secret #6: Have weekly dates

A few months ago, I was on the Rise Together podcast with Rachel and Dave Hollis. If you’ve ever listened to their podcast, you know that they’re fanatical about having a weekly date night, every single week. They claim that it’s one of the main reasons why their relationship has flourished.  

This is an area that Xander and I slack a little bit on. Since we work together, we spend a LOT of time together. And we often make the mistake of thinking that quantity of time is just as good as quality of time. We could get better at purposefully scheduling date nights, and doing more interesting things on those dates.

If you’re ready to commit to a regular date night, here are a few guidelines:

Sexual Satisfaction Secret #7: Take romantic vacations

I know, I know, your head is immediately going to thoughts like, “But that’s so expensive” and “When would we ever find the time with our schedules?” and “What would we do with the kids?”

But you and your partner NEED to have quality alone time together, away from your usual routine.

Even one night alone together can bring you closer together, generate a ton of goodwill, create lasting memories, and reignite the spark. 

If you’re struggling with the logistics, here are some ideas:

Early in our relationship, Xander and I figured out that we both love to travel, and that travel is one of the absolute best things we can do to feel close to each other. We don’t like a lot of material items, but we are willing to save our money for an incredible experience together. So far, we’ve been to 32 countries together! 

Out of these four tips, which one do you want to work on?


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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!